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GE Expects $1 Billion in Annual Wind Orders in Brazil

General Electric Co., the largest U.S. wind manufacturer, expects annual turbine sales of about $1 billion in Brazil for the next decade, according to the head of the company’s renewable-energy unit.

Developers will install between 1.5 gigawatts and 3 gigawatts of wind turbines a year in Brazil, and GE will be one of “three or four players” supplying the market, Vic Abate said today in a telephone interview. The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company agreed to provide 386 megawatts of turbines to the Sao Paulo-based developer Renova Energia SA in a $394 million deal announced today, enough to power a city of a million people.

Turbine installation is surging in Brazil, the world’s fastest-growing wind market, giving GE an important place to sell its systems as demand in the U.S. slows, Abate said. U.S. deployment in 2013 is expected to decline from this year because Congress hasn’t renewed a 2.2-cents-per-kilowatt-hour tax credit that expires at the end of this month.

“Two years ago, we were zero and now it’s over a billion dollars a year,” Abate said. Brazil is “a sustainable market.”

Wind capacity in Brazil will rise 11-fold to about 15.6 gigawatts by 2021, the country’s government said in September. Chinese turbine makers are pursuing deals to gain access to the the South American market.

“What you’ll probably see is fewer, but more mainstream, players in Brazil over the next couple of years,” Abate said. “Wind is going to be a large chunk of the installs going into that country between now and 2022.”

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